No. 19 Women’s Water Polo Takes Down No. 23 Marist, Falls to No. 16 UC San Diego

Senior Michelle Martinelli scored a game-high four goals against No. 23 Marist in a one-goal win for the Crimson (Paul Rutherford).

. – The No. 19 Harvard women's water polo team split a pair of games on the second day of the Harvard Invitational Saturday. The Crimson fell in its opener to No. 16 UC San Diego, 12-6, before earning a 10-9 victory over No. 23 Marist.

Harvard (5-4) ended a three-game losing streak with the win over the Red Foxes on its Senior Night celebration. The Crimson finishes play at the Harvard Invite with a match against No. 21 Wagner at 2:15 p.m.

In the opener, Harvard struck first, scoring on its first possession to take an early 1-0 lead over the Tritons. Freshman Mathilde Ribordy took the feed from classmate Sofia Justiz-Carrera and fired it past the UC San Diego goalkeeper for the score.

UC San Diego responded, rattling off three consecutive goals to take a 3-1 lead over the hosts midway through the first quarter. The Crimson, however, roared back for three scores of its own to retake the 4-3 advantage after the first frame. Ribordy added another tally before Carrera-Justiz and freshman Lana Gorlinski found the back of the net as well.

Harvard's defense picked up where it left off near the end of the first quarter, completely shutting down the Tritons' attack. The Crimson held UC San Diego scoreless in the second frame and used goals from sophomore Kristen Hong and freshman Julie Harrison to hold a 6-3 lead at the half.

UC San Diego regrouped at the intermission and took control of the contest throughout the second half. The Tritons outscored Harvard 9-0 in the half to preserve the victory.

After honoring the senior class during Senior Night, the Crimson took on No. 23 Marist. The Red Foxes scored the first goal of the contest before Hong and Carrera-Justiz scored consecutive goals for Harvard to take a 2-1 lead midway through the first.

Marist responded in the late goings of the quarter, scoring twice to take a 3-2 advantage after eight minutes of action.

Harvard knotted the contest up at 3-3 at the 4:38 mark of the second quarter on a goal from senior Michelle Martinelli. Senior Zoe Osborne then gave the Crimson the lead with a goal off the long pass from Hong, and Martinelli found the back of the net again as Harvard took a 5-3 lead at the half.

Marist battled back and tied the contest back at 5-5 with 5:20 to go in the third quarter. Martinelli wasn't done scoring, however, putting in her third-straight goal to take a 6-5 lead. The two teams traded goals the remainder of the quarter and the score was tied at 7-7 heading into the final frame.

Hong delivered two clutch goals in the fourth quarter to give Harvard a 9-7 lead, but Marist wouldn't go away easily. The Red Foxes knotted the game back up at 9-9, before Martinelli fired in her fourth goal of the game that proved to be the game-winner with 1:48 left on the clock.

The Crimson defense shut down the Red Foxes offense in the late goings and Harvard held on for the 10-9 victory.

Martinelli led Harvard offense with four goals, Hong notched a hat trick and Carrera-Justiz added a pair of scores. Hong also totaled a team-high two assists.

Junior Cleo Harrington totaled five stops in net to go along with two assists and a steal.